Theft of Indigenous Peoples’ Land

In a recent article I wrote about ancestors who, in different states and at different times, acquired land very cheaply from the state rather than from a specific person, and my realization that they had profited directly from the U.S. government’s theft of Indigenous peoples’ land. On two occasions in the last month, I have been asked how […]

Multicultural or Ethnic Studies?

Because of my work in both multicultural education and ethnic studies, I am sometimes asked whether I think it is better to infuse diverse groups throughout the curriculum, or to organize the curriculum around the study of one specific group. In other words, should we do multicultural or ethnic studies? My response is “both.” But […]

Critical Family History Book Review: Women of the Dawn

In April, 2016, I had an opportunity to visit Indian Island in the Penobscot River of Maine, and to meet some members of the Penobscot Nation. In that context, I learned about the wonderful book Women of the Dawn in which anthropologist Bunny McBride narrates the lives of four Wabanaki women of different generations. The term Wabanaki, […]

Searching Freedmen’s Bureau Records

About a month ago, I learned that searching Freedmen’s Bureau records was now a possibility. What a wonderful resource for African American family historians! Between 1865 and 1872, the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands (what came to be known as the Freedmen’s Bureau) assisted tens of thousands of former slaves and impoverished whites […]

How not to do family history

Last week, while scrolling through Twitter, this image jumped out at me. Oh my god, this is exactly how NOT to do family history in the classroom. Apparently the sixth grade teacher had not thought very clearly about the histories of her diverse students, or the purpose family history might serve in her classroom. Writing about […]

Locating Jewish Family Roots

There is a common perception that the persecution of Jewish people makes locating Jewish family roots difficult, if not impossible. In many families, Jewish ancestry has simply been hidden to avoid persecution. Recently I was talking with someone who had not known until reaching adulthood that she had Jewish ancestry. One of my guest bloggers […]

Family History in the Elementary Classroom

Teachers sometimes ask what advice I would give for family history projects with students. Since I was asked this question most recently by an elementary classroom teacher, and since developmental age of children does matter when deciding what is appropriate, I decided to devote this blog to teaching critical family history in the elementary classroom. For […]

Standards and Multicultural Education

Can teachers work with standards and multicultural education at the same time? Can multicultural education make standards-based teaching better for students? In many, many schools and school districts, the huge amount of attention being given to Common Core Standards and tests (PARCC or Smarter Balanced) has eclipsed attention to teaching culturally and linguistically diverse kids, […]

In Memory of Samuel Bush

Samuel Bush had something in common with Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Akai Gurley, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Victor White, Emmet Till — and many more. Bush was a young Black man who was killed by white leaders without a trial. In Bush’s case, a white mob that included leaders of the village of […]

Using White Bread in College Courses

White Bread, a work of fiction, can be read for pleasure, and I hope many readers use it for that. However, it can also be used in college courses. Outside of literature courses, fiction does not make a frequent appearance, yet, as a form of art, fiction has considerable power to communicate and provoke thought. […]